The EU replaced the United States as China's biggest trading
partner last year, said Xu Kuangdi, Chairman of the China
Federation of Industrial Economics (CFIE) on Thursday.
As one of the keynote speakers at the opening of a Sino-European
economic summit, Xu said Sino-European trade, with a volume of
US$217.3 billion, has exceeded the Sino-US trade volume by some
European companies such as Airbus, Siemens, Nokia and
Volkswagen, made the EU the fourth largest investor in China and
China's most important supplier of technology, Xu said in a speech
at the second Hamburg Summit -- "China meets Europe."
Speaking of EU's concern over intellectual property rights
protection in China, Xu asked European business leaders to show a
little more patience on this issue.
"Until fairly recently, China had a long history of having a
largely agrarian-based economy where it was customary to try and
learn from one's neighbors. The concept of intellectual property
was therefore quite new to China's burgeoning industrial sector,"
The Chamber of Commerce Hamburg, which initiated the summit,
expected more than 350 economic, political and scientific leaders
from both China and Europe to attend the event which will run until
(China Daily September 15, 2006)